Lodur from world of matticus has tried to put all the arguments, pros and cons, on a row. The problem is that I think that it doesn't matter how many pros there are. The cons are just heavier.
If just one person would get stalked because of their real name showing up, or just one person getting in trouble at work for it, it's already too many.
And Lodur might say that it will be hard to get information with a name that comes up so many times as his real name, I did one google search:
- LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/joseph-perez/19/234/957
Now I already know where he works. What his hobbies are, where he lives...
In fact, if I were to search further with the information I have now I would probably get a lot further already. And no, I'm not trying to point stalkers in his direction. But in his own blogpost he was thoroughly convinced that it would be hard to find out more.
It's not. I've done google searches on many people and when you just keep stringing little bits of information together you can find out a whole lot on people.
Would I necesarily mind that people figure out who I am? I guess not enormously. I write under my character name because that is who I am in WoW, and I like keeping things separate. But I did know the risk when I started getting on the internet and started using social sites. But I also know that there are people out there who would mind. And only one is enough.
So why...why on earth does Blizzard want to keep going through with this? It will only be a matter of time before they have the first lawsuit on their hands of someone raped or murdered because a seriously mentally ill person decided to look further after having found out the real name of that person on the forums. And the problem isn't Blizzard being careless, the problem is people not knowing how it all links together online.
And yet again I ask, Why does Blizzard want this? I don't understand what they have to gain by this, at all.
Facebook lives of the adds they place on their site. Does Blizzard plan to spam the forums with advertisement to make an extra buck? I doubt it. Linkedin has both some adds and upgraded accounts, but I doubt Blizzard is planning to charge us for an upgraded forum account.
Then why? Because they think it is pretty? Because they think it will make them more popular? In my opinion they should rather focus their efforts on what they do best, create games. And leave the social sites up to the specialists.
You know what will be the most fun part? Blizzard employees will also have their real names out in the open. So from the forum poster's linkedin I can find his contacts, and through that their contacts. It will take only 1 of those contacts to be careless and 1 very interested searcher to figure out who that poster's characters are. And then these people won't be able to play their own game anymore, because their character names will be out there.
They won't ever be able to tell anybody anymore what they do in real life because they would not be able to have a life after work anymore. As soon as they log on, hordes of 'fans' will come and 'hug' them. So a server transfer and character renaming comes. Byebye friends. All that you've build up gone, because 1 person was thorough on the internet and found out the the Blizzard poster's character.
And you know what...they'll feel ill about it. Because not being able to tell your friends (new friends mind you, since you had to leave behind the old ones to get some peace and quiet) who you are out of fear that one might not understand internet security will eat them up from the inside.
I wonder if Blizzard has thought this through properly...I mean all the ins and outs, and weighed them through and through. I would really not want the weight on my shoulders of risking my employees being harrassed day and night by crazy 'fans'.
In my opinion my real name has no place in WoW, and I won't be using Real ID or post stuff on the forums. These two just don't mix and match for me.